GODDESS OF RECREATION

My employment lets me float in a most peculiar way. I am a work-from-home assistant, high and holy baroness and queenly executive, who likes to commence a countdown and find alternate things to do rather than slaving away. I wake at nine, some days more punctually at ten. Certain liberties have been taken into consideration when it comes to my dress code. My standard uniform consists of a T-shirt, leggings, and no make-up with sloppy hair naturalness. I take my midmorning break, then lunch at eleven-fifteen, and rush back around four to ground control. Who knows when Major Tom might call. This may surprise you, but I work diligently. Except for those times I feel the quantum stealth of anonymousness and I’m off doing something a little more intriguing.

Thankfully I’m not required to do anything inventorial, janitorial, or sit in a patent office everyday angst ridden for not brainstorming some of the business ideas myself. My boss is pretty much the only person who doesn’t view me as an idiot. Although, he has never seen me sitting on a bar stool talking like a damn fool. The best part of waking up is having whatever I want in my cup. I spend half the day wondering if it’s too late to drink coffee and the other half wondering if it’s too early for happy hour.
When my bossyman tells me to have a nice day, I figure he means to harness any fear of determination and do what pleases me. And what pleases me is not having continuous confinement. At the same time, he does wield the power to rattle my erudite mind by wanting me to perform certain duties. But instead of sitting at home thinking about windsurfing, I would much rather stand on a sailboard in the glorious outdoors and think about my beloved employer. Blame it on the basophilic granules surrounding my hippocampal neurons. My doctor says that I have a terminal condition with only another thirty years to live. So I’d like to make the most of it. I’m blemished perhaps. Unfinished for sure.

Life has brought peaceful change to both my work and motherly duties. I can sit quietly in my home knowing it will stay fairly clean and I won’t have to cover the furniture in plastic unless I become increasingly incontinent. What I remember most about having kids at home was that their presence tended to ruffle up my revered ecosystem. There were also those little known dangers of Barbie accessories that can leave lasting impressions in ones soles. Now, it’s only the crow’s feet I have to worry about. My floppy frontal lobes won’t be under scrutiny since I’m in a more private place of employment. I have jettisoned from torturous high heels to elastic unburdening by tossing my bra aside during servitude. And what’s interesting, I get along famously with everyone in my office now. Although my boyfriend came into my work space yesterday and nudged me asking, “Sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if you are Sleeping Beauty and it’s your day off.” Except that Sleeping Beauty was ravishing. My appearance resembles the unglamorized Martha Stewart during her stint in a holding cell.

There are only a few things that would take me far away from my work. Jury duty. A flight to Figi. Store bargains. A massage. Terroristic threats. Rain in Spain. The list goes on. I have to keep in mind that I cannot use the excuse during truancy that my uncle died if I’m going to forget that I already used that excuse five times. My employer may have thought it was a bit scamming of me the day I called off saying I was sprayed by a skunk. He had no way of verifying it. How do I know that he himself isn’t possibly bipolar with subtle hints of body odor? When I was employed as a teen, I had a written excuse that I was bitten by a rabid blood thirsty bullhound and signed it, Dr. Zhivago. I also used the excuse one time that my Chicano brother was kidnapped by the drug cartel in Mexico. Born a blonde, I wanted to see how long it took my boss to realize what nationality I was. There was some truth to it. My brother was a chicken in many ways.

Since I work from home, I notice more things now. Cracks in the ceiling. Our parrots tooth decay. How much I love home town buffets at home. Plans for this afternoon may include driving to Target for more nourishment, and switching out their rose scented deodorants for spring meadow. Although I should probably keep in mind that thirty million fingers are lost yearly due to people touching other people’s things. There’s always drunk-in-the-middle-of-the-day karaoke. But I’d have to turn off my phone and my paycheck writer won’t be able to reach me. Either that, or do the loud la la la la, I can’t hear him routine. Though he may force me into early retirement and I’ll be joining Styx singing their stirring anthem Too much time on my hands. I don’t always sing. When I do, I’m usually three sheets to the wind singing soprano and end up losing my voice. Just so you know, it’s not how I lost my virginity.

I have found a few more practical ways to occupy my days. Like going to the beach with my lover and best buddies, setting up a shade tent, and playing eight hours of Aggravation. Sometimes we mix things up by playing Screw Your Neighbor. You have to rely on cunning in order to insure winning in this competitive world. But mostly, we spend a large part of that time looking for marbles that have fallen into the sand, and get up periodically to take our great galleonic vessels into the seawater so our joints don’t stiffen. Yet a word of warning for those doing this during the work week. Stay under a tent as well so you don’t walk into your workplace the color of George Hamilton. My boss never knows what shade I am. For all he knows, I look like Edgar Winter. Tom did ask about the background noise of waves and swearing. And although fibbing isn’t part of my moral core, I was forced to tell him it was one of those calming sounds of the ocean CD’s. But I told him he must have been imagining things when it came to the cursing. Shiftiness is just one of the many services I offer. Other than that, we don’t feel the need for rapid fire interaction or to keep close tabs on one another.

Someday I will retire from being an office space oddity. I have a well diversified retirement plan of which several dollars are allocated for a jazzy high powered wheelchair with optimal maneuverability, and the rest set aside for Merlot. The body of an average retiree that is usually immobile and grumpy should therefore be a free spirit and filled with fun and fermentation.

CRIMES & MISSED-DEMEANOR

I recently gathered with fellow writers and their significant others who sat around recalling stories from high school some fifty years ago. They say what you are is who you hang around with. I didn’t know I was hanging around such delinquent legends whose ignoble acts were geared to fascinate the festal audience. The men divulged their past crimes and misdemeanors, like cherry bombing mailboxes and plate glass windows. We women had a hard time wrapping our heads around these testosterone induced conquests. One wife chimed in, “We didn’t do anything like that! The girls were interested in more important things, like boys. We stood around school saying, that guy just looked at me! I wonder what he’s thinking? The boys stood around saying, let’s blow up the lockers next!”

I was just saying how I didn’t have any pyromaniac friends. I was among other ladies whose single interests in school were eyeing bad boys who didn’t bother to return the attention, which left very little to our fertile female imaginations. Then we went off to play with normal people. Or cry. I can’t recall. High school is really a place where the innocent and aspiring go to sow wild oats. I was writhingly unaware that I’ve been associating amongst a bunch of hoodlums with police records. I was also writhingly unaware that my pimples would not cease after high school, which also ended up scarring me for life.

Of course my significant other had to relay his erstwhile antics as well. He was only listed on the schools most wanted list an undeterminable amount of times. He talked about the infructuous elements of executing creative artistry by hanging a styrofoam constructed and very erect phallic symbol from the ceiling directly over his classmates, not to mention his oblivious teacher. My loverboy should have gotten an observance award for the most watched composition. It had a penile circumference that would have made King Kong puny in comparison. The crime was pardoned, only by other giggling cohorts who were squirming with excitement and at the same time, probably wondered what primate offered up this rather monumental amputation. My beau was removed from the port of sin by punishing school officials, which he couldn’t understand. It was right around the time that the US Civil Rights Act was passed ending discrimination in public places. It was also the same time Andy Warhol was exhibiting his pop art imagery of Campbell’s soup cans. Everyone was remarking, “We’ll never look at soup cans the same way again.” I’m sure there was growing consensus about my boyfriend’s crafty artwork that lured people into paraphrasing that statement. Anyone who went to high school will understand that hanging this type of trajectory from the classroom ceiling does cut a decent amount of geometry time. With all the capers I witnessed, no wonder I never learned Cartesian coordinates, or anything else for that matter. His caper probably concluded with a vigilant prophylactic inspection.

There were boys in my high school who lapsed into temporary crime comas, where they too thoughtlessly cultivated ruthless paranoia throughout the legal system. Every day I’d go home and my mother would ask me, “What did you learn in school today?” I’d have to tell her that the principal passed out about ten more detention slips and the plotting dyspeptic donkeys were sequestered in the torture chamber. Breakfast clubbers know exactly what I’m talking about. There was always the detention cancellation switch when some stooge wanted to hit the emergency alarm button. Such actions sometimes resulted in suspension, which was hard on us gals when we didn’t have those cute rebels around to gawk at. Once there was a rumor circling that the next afternoon’s prank would involve rats. I called off sick the following day.

School staffers gave another collective groan the day Bobby, aka Bugsy Segal, one of the most infamous and feared gangsters of his day, decided to spoof one of the girls in our science class on her birthday by doing the old exploding cake trick. Imagine a fictitious cake assembled with a blown up balloon, Cool Whip for frosting, and dotted with candles doused with chemicals that can cause a nuclear reaction, ready to blow into the victims face. Though I didn’t watch mister charismatic set it up, I did watch it mess up fellow student Laurie’s flawlessly applied Maybelline. Another trickster gave her a Coke, which was really more of a soy sauce surprise in a can. This particular student was always tardy to class since she was the victim on several occasions of mind games and other misdemeanors that required her to go home to dry her eyes and change her clothes. Hers were never considered happy birthdays. I told her that hopefully the government will start deporting all the mentally ill.

Another time, one funnyman splattered red paint in one of the bathroom stalls and stuck Kotex pads to the cubicle walls, giving victims the honor of seeing something a little off color. Doctors hoped he would get beaten up. Lawyers hoped he would get in trouble. The teachers hoped he was born with some sort of major brain malfunction. And I’m sure his parents hoped that he would just run away. He had a lot of growing up to do. I realized that the day he talked me into putting Sominex into one bully’s milk carton. It’s hard battling Satan, yet I couldn’t willingly partake in the more appalling misdemeanors.

With seniority comes a lot of silly shenanigans. I suppose I could go barricade the Starbucks bathroom door with their lounge chairs, put petroleum jelly on the escalator handrails at Nordstrom, or let crickets loose inside Costco. The supposedly sophisticated woman that I am is likely to act a little more mildly, like imitating today’s twenty year olds by following bare legged girls around while singing, We Wear Short Shorts. It would never occur to them that it used to be a Nair commercial.

My maturity level ultimately depends on who I’m with.